Claudia Schiffer steps off the catwalk

Claudia Schiffer, one of the world's highest paid models, has announced her resignation, at the age of 26, from the world of the walking clothes horse. Ms Schiffer said she will no longer be seen on the catwalk except for "guest appearances" to promote the work of designers such as Versace.

Her move comes after one of the leading model agencies, IMG, decided to lay off more than 60 models who had reached the relatively advanced age of 27. She has also been the subject of unkind comments from designers such as Karl Lagerfeld.

Ms Schiffer, who is reported to have been getting out of bed for up to pounds 350,000 a day for catwalk appearances, will continue her lucrative career as a photographic model and cosmetic brand endorser. Her pounds 8m income last year has been dented by the desicion of cosmetics firm Chanel to terminate her pounds 1m a year contract and replace her with British model Stella Tennant.